Nothing is quite as joyous right now - other than family, of course - as a finish line for Mike Kuykendall and it certainly showed in this picture from Digital Knight Productions last Saturday at the end of The Woodlands Marathon 10K.
While it might seem like Texas 10 Series race photographer David Reynolds' camera is a bit more focused on Corpus Christi's Jennifer Valadez, there's a mix of excitement, relief and thoughts of a "job well done" in Mike as he comes to the finish line.
After reconstructive knee surgery in September 2020 and an acknowledged "nasty round w/ COVID" that interrupted his racing comeback that started right before Thanksgiving, Mike completed his third double in four years with age group placements in both 5K two Saturdays ago and 10K this past Saturday.
Mike has now completed 10 different races of The Woodlands Marathon, including six half marathons, three 5K's and a 10K.
He ran 29:08 in the cool temperatures in the 5K and then battled the toasty conditions Saturday with a mark of 1:04:08.
His first half marathon in The Woodlands event came in 2013. He ran two more after his debut before he slipped under two hours - with a 1:57:58 - in 2018.
If there's one guy that is as grateful as anybody to be able to get out here and do what he loves, it's Mike!
Photo courtesy of David Reynolds, Digital Knight Productions